Tropical Rainforest: Definition and Its Significance in the World

Tropical rainforests are rainforests found in tropical uplands and lowlands around the earth’s equator. There is no dry season in any area of ​​these rainforests. The typical climate in a tropical rainforest is very humid, hot, and wet. Tropical rainforests are the most commonly found rainforests in the world and cover about 6 percent of the land surface of Planet Earth. Despite its seemingly small percentage, tropical rainforest house and cover about 50% of all known species of animals and plants on earth.

Most are structured in three layers: the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. The canopy is the layer formed from the large trees whose crowns form a compact layer above the ground. The understory is the layer that is relatively open and dark. It contains shrubs and smaller trees. The last layer is the forest floor which only receives little sunlight. Only plant species that can adapt to low levels of light can grow in this layer.

Its origin can be traced back to the terrestrial period and the tropical rainforests of today are the link to the oldest forest and vegetation present in terrestrial Earth. Nonetheless, like all types of vegetation, the rainforest continues to change and evolve so the tropical rainforests of today are not identical to the past.

Since tropical rainforests have extremely biodiverse biomes, you will find a large number of species in them. Here are some of the diversity of animals you will find in tropical rainforests around the world.

  • Jaguars
  • Caimans
  • Green anacondas
  • Harpy eagles
  • Howler monkeys
  • Boa constrictors
  • Orangutans
  • Tigers
  • Crocodiles
  • Tree kangaroos
  • Goannas

Such diversity can also be found in a number of plant species in rainforest biomes. Some of the plant species in rainforest biomes include:

  • Epiphytes
  • Bromeliads
  • Orchids
  • Acai Palm
  • Carnauba Palm
  • Rattan Palm
  • Amazon Water Lily
  • Rubber Tree
  • Bougainvillea
  • Indian Timber Bamboo
  • Corpse Flower
  • Pitcher Plants
  • Heliconia


Where can you find the tropical rainforest in the world?

Tropical rainforests are typically found between 10 degrees north and south of the equator. They are in the hottest and wettest areas all around the world which is mainly close to the equator. Tropical rainforests are found mainly in four biogeographical realms. This includes the Australian and Pacific, Indomalayan, Afrotropical, and Neotropical.

Australian Tropical Rainforest

Most of the forest in the Australian and Pacific realm lies on Papua New Guinea – the world’s second-largest island. There are also small sections of forests that can be found in Australia and some Pacific islands. Recent studies have shown that in the past 18,000 years, the Australian Rainforest covers more of Australia we know today.

Australian rainforests are a living legacy considering they are the remnants of the ancient rainforests that existed when Antarctica and Australia were still connected. Because of this, conservation of the tropical rainforests in Australia is so important as it is what links us to the past. It gives us an insight into how our modern-day plants and animals may have evolved.

Indomalayan Tropical Rainforest or Asian Realm

Some of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world can be found in Southeast Asia. A long time ago, forests once covered most areas in Asia but due to the increase of population over so many centuries, it has significantly reduced and only a few scattered fragments remain. Most of the remaining tropical rainforests in Asia today can be found in different islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos.

Afrotropical Rainforests

The African region is home to around 18% of the tropical forests found in the world. The majority of the tropical rainforests in the African region today are in the Congo River Basin. Its entire area cover 3 million square kilometers which is so much larger than Argentina! The rainforest in Congo is famous for its elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, as well as the native inhabitants in the forest called pygmies.

Neotropical Rainforests

The Neotropical rainforests are those that are found in Southern Mexico through Central America, Northern South America, Southern Brazil, and includes the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest intact forest and is considered as the lungs of the Earth. It plays an important role in regulating the carbon cycles as well as the world’s oxygen. It produces about 6 percent of the oxygen around the world and absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide found in our atmosphere today.

What is the global significance of a tropical rainforest?

Tropical rainforests remain to be a significant part of the global community. They play a huge role in providing a life support system for the entire planet. It helps us live healthily, live prosperously, and live happy. Here’s what tropical rainforests for mankind:

  • They regulate the composition of the atmosphere.

All the tropical rainforests around the world help offset the effects of climate change by taking in the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through photosynthesis and then releasing oxygen. This maintains temperate climates in a lot of areas in the world. When rainforests are having an imbalance, it can affect the temperate climates in many parts of the world.

  • It maintains soil health.

The rapid leaf fall and decomposition that cover within the tropical forest floor have produced rich, fertile, and full of nutrients in topsoils in the world. The rainforests floor has many nutrients needed for biodiversity. Maintaining soil health in the rainforest’s floor is important for us to continue to plant and produce healthy crops. Good soil with good nutrients also prevents agricultural diseases.

  • It provides water for mankind.

The tropical rainforests we have today help provide water for millions of people around the world. Water that is generated in rainforests travels all around the world through the process of transpiration which results in clouds. The scarcity of water is a global problem. It is a global issue that affects millions of people around the world. We need water to live and to do that, saving a forest is the first step.

  • Tropical rainforests provide food, raw materials, and medicines.

A lot of food and crops can be found in rainforests are consumed by local people. You can already find a diversity of species in a single area or biome in a forest which all of us can either use or consume for our benefit. In some rainforests, you can also find special herbs and plants that can be effectively used as medicines. On top of that, rainforests provide raw materials for many of the products we need today such as in cosmetics and furniture.

Tropical rainforests may seem like a different world, like no other, but they are a part of us. More importantly, the ecosystem inside the tropical rainforests is essential to human existence. The conservation of our forests is crucial to saving thousands and millions of animals and plant species and ensure temperate environments in many areas of the world. Moreover, the conservation of the large areas of forest cover in the world will ensure the survival of not just biodiversity, biomes, but of the future generation. If a single forest is not taken care of or if a single forest perishes today, it will affect biodiversity and any biome found in the rainforests. And mankind will be greatly affected.



Saving the Rainforest: Here’s How to Get Involved

Rainforests are one of the most essential and beautiful assets on our planet. Not only do they provide the oxygen we breathe and the water we drink, but they also help stabilize the climate patterns, absorb the carbon dioxide emissions in our atmosphere. On top of that our every rainforest in the world house half of the world’s biodiversity of animal and plant species. Saving the rainforest from further destruction is extremely important.

Today, rainforests are rapidly disappearing for several reasons. Overpopulation and cutting down trees, plants, and other plant species in the forest to make way for vast plantations are just a few of the reasons. If this doesn’t stop, the Earth and all its inhabitants may eventually suffer. Our rainforests are considered the lungs of the earth and if it is not properly taken care of, it will stop doing its functions. These activities are not sustainable and do not protect the natural and environmental concerns of communities.

But despite the growing rainforest concerns both locally and internationally, the world’s rainforests continue to be destroyed every day. The good news is that there are still a lot of ways to help our rainforests and all of us can be part of it. However, it is not going to be an easy task considering our rainforests are heading to a steep downhill. Nevertheless, with our combined efforts, everyone can work together to protect the rainforests, protect, and preserve them for the next generations.

Saving the rainforest involves some basic steps which are often called the TREES concept.

·       Teach others about the importance of the environment and how they can help save rainforests.

·       Restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees on land where forests have been cut down.

·       Encourage people to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment.

·       Establish parks to protect rainforests and wildlife.

·       Support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment.

Applying this concept in whatever we do will help save every rainforest that is rapidly destroyed every minute.

Here’s what we can do to save the rainforests in our own ways.

1.       Raise awareness about biodiversity and natural forest issues in your communities.

The first thing you can do to save a single rainforest in your own country is to raise awareness about the issues we are facing today. Things like deforestation in Brazil, poaching, illegal mining, and other activities about development that destroy the rainforests. Declare yourself as someone who wants to protect them and show the people in your community why they should get on board too. Tell the world about the activities that have caused damage and destruction to the rainforests. These include illegal logging, mining, forest fires, and many more. These illegal activities could result in massive destruction of our ecosystems, culture, and climate. Moreover, you can also raise awareness about the violation of indigenous rights caused by the destruction of our rainforests.

2.       Support for indigenous rights in saving the rainforest.

Many of the indigenous people living across 90 countries worldwide are struggling to maintain their legal rights to traditional forest lands and territories. With this, they are slowly losing their culture and identity. Indigenous people should have the rights to their lands and territories considering that they know more about how to care for their lands and protecting biodiversity for so many years. To help them out, you can use your platform to let the voices of indigenous people be heard.

3.       Contact the government.

The government has the power to make it easier to pass laws on protecting every area of our rainforests. They are also the link to many departments and agencies tasked to protect them. For this reason, what we can do is contact local and national governments to do more for the people and the environment. For instance, one-third of the world’s remaining primary tropical rainforests including the Amazon is in Brazil. But government figures in Brazil are slow to take action in protecting natural resources. With our collective effort, we can convince the government to implement new laws that will ensure the protection and conservation of our rainforests.

4.       Hold organizations and businesses accountable.

Many of the businesses and corporations today are the ones doing the most destructive practices in our rainforests. They may reason out it is for development, but development without thinking of sustainable ways to keep the forests protected is nothing. For this reason, these businesses should be held accountable for their environmentally destructive practices even in one rainforest. To express our concern, we can boycott the products they manufacture, sign petitions, or call them out on national television, or in social media. This way, we can visibly show them and call them out for their irresponsible actions in every area of our rainforests.

5.       Reduce our beef consumption.

Beef is one of the four commodities that is the main reason why there is deforestation in every rainforest in many countries in the world. Beef consumption is the most destructive of all, alongside palm oil, soy, and wood. They are the major reasons why deforestation still happens today. For this reason, the best thing we can do is reduce our beef consumption to reduce the demand for them. Moreover, this will also reduce the emissions caused by beef production around the world.

6.       Avoid palm oil products.

Palm oil production is one of the widely known reasons why our rainforests are damaged. It has been on local and national news for some time. So many environmental problems are caused by palm oil production alone. Avoiding palm oil products may seem like hitting the tip of an iceberg but it is one solid way to help. our rainforests.

7.       Teach the new generation about saving the rainforest.

The children of today will be the ones responsible for protecting every forest in the future. What we can do now is to educate them on the dangers of deforestation and how important it is to save at least one rainforest. We can begin by telling them that forests house the plants and animal species that provide us the food and other needs of our communities. Our children should understand that every area of every local forest provides food for millions of people. Teach them that the plants should also be protected so we can achieve sustainable ways of feeding the next generation. We can get involved in saving the rainforest by simply teaching the new generation.

The Importance of the Amazon Rainforest to the World

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest in the world and has vital links between global warming and our survival. This rainforest covers more than two million miles of forest land and stretches across nine South American countries. A big portion of its area is found in the Brazil region. It is a beautiful place – full of lush green forests and mighty rivers. While the Amazon rainforest is known for its physical attributes, a lot of people don’t know the importance of the Amazon Rainforest and what it provides not just to the indigenous people living near the rainforest but across all nations and countries in the world.

Facts about the Importance of the Amazon Rainforest

Here are some facts about the Amazon Rainforest.

  • The Amazon River is the second-longest river in the world. Its area of water ways covers nearly 4000 miles and is home to numerous natural species such as the endangered pink dolphin, red-bellied piranha. bull sharks, and black caiman crocodiles.
  • The Basin has the highest rainfall rate in the world making it sustainable to provide water to every region in the forests.
  • The wetlands of this forest house over 53 percent of the more than 6,727 tree species recorded.
  • It produces roughly six percent of the world’s oxygen which is why the Amazon Rainforest is considered the lungs of the earth. It has a huge role in controlling the world’s climate.
  • It plays an important role in regulating the carbon cycles in the atmosphere as well as the world’s oxygen.
  • The Amazon Rainforest house over an estimated 16,000 tree species and 390 billion individual trees.
  • The Amazon influences rainfall patterns in the countries near it and even in the United States of America.

What are the threats that the Amazon forest is facing recently?

Today, the Amazon Rainforest is facing potential perils every year which could lead to the ultimate destruction of this important rainforest.

Here are some of the real and present dangers it is facing.


Fires breaking every year in the Amazon rainforest are often caused by accidents during the dry months. Every year, the dry season causes wildfires that destroy wildlife. However, many satellite photographs also show that the fires in the Brazil region of the Amazon were set deliberately to clear many acres of land. Some news says that the government of Brazil is slow in action when it comes to protecting the natural resources in the forests.

Deforestation has been one of the biggest problems in many countries today, not just in the Amazon, to make way for a new use of land.

Illegal logging

Illegal logging is a global problem that promotes ways that are not sustainable to society. Many illegal loggers target remote forest areas, especially the Amazon rainforest, to cut certain tree species in the forest to supply furniture and building supplies businesses. These illegal loggers would use false permits and steal from indigenous lands and protected areas that are supposed to be for indigenous people only.


This problem has been in countless news outlets in Brazil and other countries and has been going on for years but oftentimes they can easily avoid detection because of the weak presence of environmental agencies and because these activities are done in very remote locations.


Illegal hunting of animals and rare plant species is one of the major problems in the Amazon. Animals such as the giant Amazon turtle, the Amazon Manatee, and the Paiche, have been slowly vanishing from the wild. Rare plant species are also poached from the rainforest and are sold expensively in the black market.

Commercial Fishing

Fish are the main source of income and food for the Amazonian people. Nonetheless, this has posed a threat to the current fish population in the rainforest. With the growing population, commercial fishing and over-fishing have contributed to the decline of the fish population. Commercial fishing has led to the use of industrial lawyers that scoops up entire schools of fish which is an unsustainable way to bring food to the people.

Ranching & Agriculture

To make room for cattle farming, soy production, and raising crops, more rainforests are being continuously cut down today. As of today, cattle pastures are occupying 80% of the deforested areas in the Amazon rainforest. With the growing demand for meat and other commodities, this has made a drastic impact on the rainforest and the nearby countries around it.


Mining activities result in the soil, and water contamination as harmful chemicals and sediments get washed down to the rivers. Fish and other animals are affected when this happens. But mining continues to be one of the main problems due to the demand for minerals mined in the Amazon basin. These minerals are used to make many everyday items that we use today.

Why we should protect the Amazon Rainforest?

More than ever, we should protect the Amazon rainforest. Here are some of the reasons why it is so important to protect this beautiful rainforest.

Climate Control and The Importance of the Amazon Rainforest

Maintaining both local and regional climate is so important and the Amazon play a huge role in this. The Amazin is responsible for as much as 75% of its own rainfall. The rain feeds the nearby rivers and influences the rain in South America to the United States.


The tribes of Amazon have perfected the process of using plants and even insects to cure diseases. This practice has been going on for years and should remain that way for the next generations.

Carbon Storage

Over the last 150 years, humans have been burning fossil fuels, using gas, oil, and coal which has contributes to tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. The Amazon absorbs 86 billion tonnes of CO2 in the world.

Biodiversity and Importance of the Amazon Rainforest

The most biodiverse terrestrial place in the world is the Amazon Rainforest. It is home to more animal and plant species than anywhere else in the world. It is only important that the natural ecosystems that house them are protected considering it also provides tons of benefits to humans.